Have you ever found yourself in one of these situations?
Many business owners are reluctant to invest the time and effort required to document the procedures that are integral to the success and growth of their business. Claiming to be “too busy,” they rely instead on the “buddy system,” whereby mission-critical knowledge and information are transferred informally by existing staff. Whether or not the employee is doing their job efficiently and effectively remains to be seen. The fact is that the information gets shared, one way or another. Often key elements are missed, not purposely, but missed.
Having written procedures is a business success strategy that will help save you time and money, as well as minimize the mistakes, stress, and tension that can come about as a result of “winging it.”
Consider the following:
Written procedures will help make your employees more efficient
In most businesses the way a job is executed develops organically. Employees are trained, and soon after they begin to do things “their own way” and form habits. In many cases, though their personal techniques might work successfully for them, they are often not the most time or resource efficient way to complete their job. Their patterned behavior may actually cost more time than is necessary to get the same outcome. Having written procedures will help to ensure that this situation doesn’t occur. Don’t get me wrong, often I have found that the changes that an employee has made to the job is more efficient; capture that in writing, giving the employee the credit!
Written procedures will help you save money
With a goal of uncovering where potential cost-savings can be found, documenting internal procedures enables you to step back and dissect exactly how work is being done. Businesses may well uncover redundancies or specific instances in which outside resources are being utilized for work that can be executed by an existing employee. Documenting your internal procedures will point the way to potential cost reduction solutions and the savings will fall right to your bottom line.
Written procedures will help avoid mistakes that can sabotage client relationships
Clients do not want to hear excuses; we are hiring new people; training is taking longer than expected or any of the potential issues that you may have with growth. Growth is good! But, no business can exist without clients and losing a client because of a mistake can be highly demoralizing and detrimental to the financial health of the company. By documenting how many jobs should be done, you can help ensure that mistakes will be kept to a minimum, productivity will be higher and this is especially true if employees receive ongoing training so that their skills do not diminish over time.
As we get ready to turn the page on the calendar and embark on a new year it might be the time to determine whether your existing procedures need to be refreshed. Don’t have written procedures? Think about the potential benefits and then let’s talk!
For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 935-5641.